Chat with Texas pitcher Cat Osterman!
Thursday at 2:30 ET, Texas southpaw ace Cat Osterman will drop by to chat. Arguably the most accomplished player in college softball, and only a junior, Osterman is a finalist for USA Softball National Player of the Year honors. After winning a gold medal in Athens with Team USA at the 2004 Olympics, Osterman has returned the Longhorns to elite status in the college ranks. Osterman is 27-6 this season, boasting a miniscule 0.33 ERA and 519 strikeouts in 234.2 innings. She'll lead Texas against Bethune-Cookman in the super regionals (Friday, 6:30 ET, ESPNU and Satutday, 3:00 ET, ESPNU).
Cat will be stopping by at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, so send your questions now or just join is then!
The ShowGirl (2:19 PM)
Welcome to The Show! Texas hurler Cat Osterman will be here to take your questions. Send 'em in now, stay tuned for the answers!
Cat Osterman (2:35 PM)
Hello there, we just got done with practice and interviews preparing for our game tomorrow on ESPNU ... we're anxious to get these Super REgionals started!
Hooked on The Horns, IL
Now that school is out, have practices and workouts changed or have things pretty much stayed the same as when you guys were still in school? Hook 'em!
Cat Osterman (2:36 PM)
Schools out, so we practice and work out in the morning and we can just be ourselves in the afternoon. It's easier for us to focus now that school is out, we are not ready for the season to be over yet and we know it's win or go home.
Robert (Olympia, WA)
Has college softball gotten easier for you since you got back from the Olympics?
Cat Osterman (2:38 PM)
No, it's still a great challenge. There are still great hitters nationwide. The talent in the United States at the collegiate level is so amazing ... You could probably make a few Olympic quality teams just from the talent in the NCAA. So, my stats might look like things have been easier, but it's still a great challenge.
Sara: Fairhaven, MA
Cat, you have done a fantastic job this season. How did it feel to throw a no hitter vs UMASS, and then to top that with a perfect game? Also, do you feel that Texas can bring the momentum from these wins into this weekend? Good luck!!
Cat Osterman (2:39 PM)
It felt really good, my arm felt really loose and ready to go all week. It was one of those days where I went out and everything was clicking. Those two days were definitely a highlight of my career, everything about it just felt like it was in place and it felt great to do it like that in back-to-back days.
Thad (New York)
Cat, who calls your game, your catcher or your coach?
Cat Osterman (2:40 PM)
Actually, starting in our conference, our coaches let our catchers call the games. My catcher Megan Willis does an incredible job.
are you guys approaching the Bethune-Cookman matchup any differently than any other game. What do you know about this team, what do you expect from them?
Cat Osterman (2:42 PM)
We are going to approach this game just like it was Uof A or Oklahoma ... we're not taking anybody lightly. We don't know a whole lot about them, I've faced them my freshman and sophomore year and I know they can create a lot of excitement, they are a very lively game and we expect that enthusiasm to provide a really great game against us.
Jason, La Mirada, California
Cat, You're awesome!!! I had the privilege watching you pitch earlier in the year at the Palm Springs Tournament. What are some of the benefits of having a coach like Connie Clark on your side in tough situations? Do you see yourself coaching in the future? Good luck and best wishes in the "very near" future. Jason
Cat Osterman (2:44 PM)
Coach Clark has definitely helped my game progress. As a very good pitcher in her own rite, she has helped me expand my vision and think about the game as a whole and not just in the short-term situation. I definitely plan on coaching some day and Coach Clark often jokes with me with the 'Oh, someday when you're a coach,' line. I look forward to it!
Cat, you've accomplished so much and you are only a Junior! What personal goals do you have for the remaining season and next that you are striving to acheive? I also see you as "softball's ambassidor to the rest of the sports world". Do you feel a personal responsibility for elevating the presence of softball in American sport culture?
Cat Osterman (2:46 PM)
You know, it's nice to hear that. Obviously, I think Jennie Finch has done a great job as softball's ambassador right now. I hope to carry that responsibility someday. I think any publicity for our sport is good publicity. The sport as a whole is getting so much attention these days. I hope I can preserve that and carry softball to the outside world and within American sports culture.
Hey Cat U're an awesome pitcher and a wonderful inspiration to us female athletes. U say u write the numbers 8,3, and 11 in the back of the pitching circle - significance?
Cat Osterman (2:48 PM)
Thanks T. I write those numbers b/c it's my No. 8, 3 is my best friend Jody Bell who played basketball here at Texas and 11 is another one of my best friends, Jamie Carey who also played basketball here. They are my closest friends and Jamie, in particular has really helped me elevate my mental game. They are great people who are so important to me.
Eliana Valentine (Houston, Texas)
Hey Cat i was wondering what you feel is your most effective pitch? i'm just a growing pitcher trying to be just like you. Eliana
Cat Osterman (2:49 PM)
My dropball is definitely my best pitch. I have five all together but my drop is the most effective. And best of luck to you, Eliana!
Cat you're my idol. Just wondering what you, as a pitcher, think of the international tiebreaker rule in softball. Is it frustrating to have a game decided like this or just a necessary evil of the game's nature?
Cat Osterman (2:51 PM)
I think , when you're younger, it's necessary just to keep tournaments on time, but, at this point, I don't really like the rule b/c it's not the best way to end a game. Giving up a lead-off hit is very different than starting with a runner on second. I think this rule should probably be eliminated from the college game and have teams just play straight up innings to decide the game.
Was the transition back to collegiate play difficult after you time away? What was the biggest benefit of that for you?
Cat Osterman (2:53 PM)
I think my confidence and mental toughness are the two most significant things I learned from being around the Olympians and coach Mike Candrea. I'm still the same pitcher as I was, but when you have the confidence and metal toughness to go along with that, that can make a world of difference.
Austin (Montgomery, Texas)
Which one of your teammates is known to be the craziest off the field?
Cat Osterman (2:55 PM)
There are quite a few of them, but I'd probably have to go with Tina Boutelle. We come up with some interesting ideas for fun things to do. She is a riot ... and our freshman Desiree Williams comes in a close second.
Elva (Smithville, Texas)
Cat. Less than ten years ago, UT didn't even have a softball program. Now, UT is one of the "elite" schools in the country. Do you realize how profound an impact you have had on softball recruiting at Texas to make this happen? I don't think you realize how influential you are to us "Texas" girls just trying to play sports we love. You give all of us female atheletes reason to be proud. Best of luck, always.
Cat Osterman (2:57 PM)
I definitely think that my freshman class as a whole came in and helped this program develop to the level your at. I know that the thought of playing along with players of this calibur is a great recruiting tool and hopefully the talent in this program can continue to foster great recruiting.
Austin (Montgomery, Texas)
Do you look forward to a possible matchup against A&M in the CWS?
Cat Osterman (2:59 PM)
You know, we're not looking ahead to the World Series yet.. Our focus right now is on Bethune- Cookman on Saturday. And then, beyond that, whoever we get in the first round -- whether it's A&M or Alabama we're just going to go out and do our best. We obviously know a lot about A&M, but sometimes it's nice to go out and face teams we haven't seen before.
Ryan (Forth Worth, TX)
Do you ever have the urge to want to bat during games?
Cat Osterman (2:59 PM)
I have the urge ... I definitely pick at Coach Clark a little trying to get in every now and then. I was promised one at bat my senior year, so I'm looking forward to that!
Dave (North Haven, CT)
How do you balance the academic, athletic and social aspects of being an elite college athlete? do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Cat Osterman (3:01 PM)
We came in as freshman and they've really structured our lives here. Classes are our priority. It can be overwhelming at times, but we just get used to it. We try to be social when we can ... that's usally spent with the team, so it's easy because we usually all just want to lie around and watch movies.
bigger celebrity on campus, You or Vince?
Cat Osterman (3:02 PM)
(laughing) Umm. I don't know, I don't see Vice that often, but I hear he gets his share of autograph requests. I get recognized around campus too, though, so I don't know. Vince is a great guy though and I think we rib each other enough to keep us each down to earth!
Brenda., Las Vegas, Nevada
Hi Cat, I just want to say that you are obviously the best in the country, and you really inspire everyone who dreams of playing softball. I love you and the Texas Longhorns!!!!!!!
Cat Osterman (3:04 PM)
Thank you for the suppport! We are glad to see there are Longhorn fans across the country and not just here in Texas. We really appreaciate that. We hope you all get to see us out in Oklahoma City next week! Take care, thanks for logging on!